Meeting Myself

20180320_132322

It’s a cool, still day. Sun made some attempts at appearing this morning, but was overtaken by various types of clouds. There’s the dull grey haze, smearing over most parts of the sky, but also the depth provided by layers of clouds covering layers of mountains as they stand behind one another. That mountain is visible. This one behind has a patch of cloud obscuring it. That other one down the valley is only making itself known in faint outline. There’s mystery here that sun would be oblivious to.

The person who said you can never go home has never considered home to be an ashram.

That’s where I am now. I’m home.

I always loved the Ashram when it’s cloudy. Another reminder to bring my focus inward, to let go of external concerns.

Rocks press into rocks under my feet and I’m at the lakeshore, staring at my favourite mountain. It’s the one that’s visible, jutting out where the lake takes a quick turn to make the West Arm. The first day of spring. And Swami Radha’s birthday. There are many reasons to celebrate.

Sections of the sky release their interlacing of cloud to create a patchwork of light and dark above the water. I’ve seen this before. No, not this exactly, but something like it. I’ve seen this person, standing on this beach looking at this lake. Only sometimes she’s roaring with fire, throwing in rocks to get it out. Sometimes she’s singing, deep in reverence. She’s got a guitar in her lap or a harmonium at her knees and she’s singing, oh Lord is she singing. She’s hoping that the breath her voice is carried on will carry her, too. I’ve seen her too in calm stillness. With a notebook and pen, or with nothing at all. Just there, beside the lake.

Today all these selves were there with me. Eight years of her, all rolling into one, into this precious moment. Such a funny thing, place. Is there a way I can be all these people all at once and still be who I am now?

Believe me, I’ve tried to go home. I’ve been to Alberta, where the wind rushes over shoots of wheat as desperate in its rush East as I am for something to cling onto. The roads are too wide there. The cars leave too much space between them like an invisible force. I try to enter into the spaces I find. In brother’s homes or long-forgotten favourite coffee shops. Everything’s different; I am seeing with new eyes and those wide streets look strange to me now. Something just doesn’t quite fit in the space.

An ashram for a home has none of those concerns. It has its own similitudes and constant flux of change just like me. No pigeonholing me into past versions of myself or expecting I’ll be anywhere but where I am. I’m grateful for the freedom in that.

I stood on that pebbled shore as wave after wave of previous selves I’ve been washed over me. I was surprised. I may not be those selves anymore, not held to their limiting beliefs and crippling concepts, but they’re still a part of me.

Smooth and dark like thick chocolate the lake offers itself as an example. I’ll rest into its stillness that resides in me. I’ll gather all my selves in sacred ceremony and hear them out. I’ll step forward as the person I am now, choosing the best qualities of each to carry me on.

Advertisements

Returning

20180309_101051

Awake early. The rest of the house still quiet in their rooms and my eyes are drawn out the window.

I observe the moss-covered trees without leaves and the occasional bird before realizing I’m taking in clear sky.

Hints of cloud make weak attempts to conceal the blue. It pours in the large picture window, only slightly obscured in spots where plants sit on the sill. And by Nataraj, dancing in central glory between two plants, graciously — ruthlessly? — destroying my obstacles yet again.

I’m in Vancouver. My trip to Hawaii is over and I’m processing with friends, cups of hot tea, sitting on cozy carpets near the fire, and playing Bhajans. It’s a heart-focused time.

I woke today as if I’d been submerged. It was the blue sky that did it — that shocked me into reality. No, not the intensity of dreams or the languished sleep of jet-lag (I recovered nicely from that with a seven hour nap yesterday). It was the pale blue that lifted me. Made me notice I’ve been underwater. And only by lifting out of it am I able to see where I’ve been.

I’ve been snorkelling. Oh, the fish I’ve seen! They’ve swirled after each other in intricate patterns and moved as if one, listening to that extra sense telling them all exactly when to curve a fin.

I’ve seen dolphins — close enough to touch — and sea turtles that I’ve almost stepped on.

I’ve seen whales propel their massive beings out of their ocean home for a moment of airborne freedom and a thunderous return.

Now the temperature-controlled fireplace turns on again. I drink cooled, re-steeped tea. My mind flits over all I’ve left in that watery paradise and, briefly weighed down by thoughts of “what-if,” I breathe in deep like I haven’t had air in months.

Nataraj, Siva in the form of a dancer, still stamps in a ring of fire on the windowsill. He danced the whole world into existence so I trust He’ll be able to help me sort out my next steps. His symbol is the crescent moon — he wears it on his forehead and from it flows the holy river Ganges.

I now wear mine on my heart. This moon, this constant reminder that every time something ends the only things taken away are my illusions.

Besides, low tide is the best time to hunt for treasure. And it’s such a sunny day.